How to Be You

How to Be You

Simone de Beauvoir and the art of authentic living

Summary

'Skye Cleary blends Simone de Beauvoir's wisdom with her own in this lively guide to becoming a poet of your life' Nigel Warburton

'It isn't easy to be authentic. Skye Cleary's How to Be You is the guide you need if you are serious about figuring out how to live a life truly worth living. And why wouldn't you?' Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be a Stoic


'Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.'


So said Simone de Beauvoir, one of the world's most influential philosophers, whose pioneering work asks how we can live our most fulfilling lives and be our most vibrant selves. But in the age of so-called authenticity, what does her philosophy offer us today? In this galvanising tour of her defiant strategies for living, we explore how de Beauvoir can teach us to free ourselves of fears and stereotypes and live in a way that is truly authentic to our desires and beliefs.

At home, at work, in love, families and friendship, Skye Cleary shows us how de Beauvoir's philosophy can help us become more attuned to living purposefully, thoughtfully, and with a little more rebellious spirit. An authentic life is the goal but, warning: happiness may be a side effect.

Reviews

  • Balanced with elements of critique, Skye Cleary delivers Simone de Beauvoir's views on authenticity with matchless clarity. In this elegantly written text, abstract ideas are embodied with compelling stories from either or both Beauvoir's life or that of the author. This coupling of the ethereal and earthly injects How to Be Authentic with a delightful resonance of authenticity that helps to bring home Beauvoir's bounty of existential wisdom.
    Gordon Marino, author of The Existentialist’s Survival Guide

About the author

Skye Cleary

Dr Skye C. Cleary is a philosopher and writer. She teaches at Columbia University, Barnard College, and the City University of New York, and is the author of Existentialism and Romantic Love and co-editor of How to Live a Good Life. Cleary's writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Aeon, The Times Literary Supplement, TED-Ed, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other outlets. She won the 2017 New Philosopher Writers' Award and was a 2021 MacDowell Fellow. She lives in New York City with her partner and son.
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